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T-Mobile buys Ryan Reynolds' Mint Mobile in a $1.35 billion deal

Actor Ryan Reynolds is part owner of Mint Mobile and stars in ads for the budget cellular carrier which is being sold to T-Mobile.
Lisa O'Connor
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AFP via Getty Images
Actor Ryan Reynolds is part owner of Mint Mobile and stars in ads for the budget cellular carrier which is being sold to T-Mobile.

The telecommunications giant T-Mobile announced it's buying the budget cell service provider Mint Mobile — best known for its ads with actor and part-owner Ryan Reynolds. The cash-and-stock deal, which includes two other brands, is worth $1.35 billion.

T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said Wednesday that the company would use its size and resources to "supercharge" Mint, which uses T-Mobile's wireless network and offers plans for as little as $15 per month.

"Over the long-term, we'll also benefit from applying the marketing formula Mint has become famous for across more parts of T-Mobile," Sievert added.

Perhaps the single largest contributor to that marketing effort has been Reynolds, the Deadpool star, who's appeared in commercials for the company standing in front of a mint-green background and delivering playful sales pitches.

Reynolds said Wednesday that the deal would benefit Mint Mobile customers.

"We are so happy T-Mobile beat out an aggressive last-minute bid from my mom Tammy Reynolds as we believe the excellence of their 5G network will provide a better strategic fit than my mom's slightly-above-average mahjong skills," Reynolds joked.

In a video announcing the purchase, Sievert said T-Mobile would continue Mint's $15 per month pricing.

Under the terms of the deal, T-Mobile will buy Ka'ena Corp., the parent company for Mint Mobile, a wireless service specializing in international calls named Ultra Mobile and wireless wholesaler Plum.

Reynolds will continue on in his creative role for Mint, and Mint founders David Glickman and Rizwan Kassim will continue to operate the brands as a mostly separate business unit, T-Mobile said.

The deal, which is expected to close later this year, will also permit Mint to continue using T-Mobile's network.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Joe Hernandez